Master of Public Health (MPH) to PhD in Population Health Science Dual Degree


College of Population Health


Master of Public Health

PhD in Population Health Science




4-7 Years

The Master of Public Health (MPH) to PhD in Population Health Science Dual Degree program at Thomas Jefferson University prepares students to analyze the determinants of health and to develop, implement and evaluate health interventions, policies and systems that improve the health and quality of life of populations.

Our small class sizes and committed faculty will provide students with the mentoring and support needed to launch careers and engage in high quality research, and our classes are offered during the day and after 5 p.m. to accommodate working adults, as well as being held online and onsite at our Center City Philadelphia campus. Four terms per year run from September to August.

Students in the dual degree program will begin with a focus on public health, an interdisciplinary field of study and practice with three primary goals:

  1. Addressing pressing and emerging threats to health and well-being.
  2. Preventing illness, disease and injury.
  3. Promoting and protecting human health. Public health emphasizes social justice, supports human rights and respects the dignity of individuals and the integrity of communities.

Students will move from foundational public health studies to doctoral level work that will prepare them to be scientific leaders in the fields of public and population health. Our students come from a variety of fields and have included:

  • Recent college graduates with majors in natural or social sciences, including pre-med, sociology and anthropology, or other pre-professional students seeking an educational experience during their gap or glide year.
  • Graduates with relevant work experience wishing to enhance their health-related career or make a career change.
  • Professionals working in government, community health organizations, non-profits, healthcare settings, health insurance companies, the pharmaceutical industry and academic institutions.

A new STEM designation also enables up to three years of work authorization in the U.S. for eligible international students. 


The Master of Public Health (MPH) to PhD in Population Health Science program is an 80-credit combined degree program that will prepare students to have an impactful and rewarding career as scholars, scientists, and public health professionals.

The Master of Public Health (MPH), which is a 45-credit degree, requires the completion of 27 credits of core courses (including a non-credit bearing clerkship) and 18 credits of concentration and elective courses. Students can complete the Master of Public Health (MPH) either online or in-person.

The PhD in Population Health Science Dual Degree curriculum adds 35 credits and overlaps with the Master of Public Health (MPH) curriculum. Students will earn their Master of Public Health (MPH) credential after completing 45 credits and then continue toward the PhD. 

PhD courses are a flexible mix of hybrid and online courses that utilize best practices in asynchronous and synchronous online learning. See the coursework for each below.

Jefferson's Master of Public Health (MPH) program is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH)

Master of Public Health Core Courses (27 credits):

  • PBH 501: Foundations of Public Health (3 credits)
  • PBH 500: Foundations of the US Healthcare System (3 credits)
  • PBH 502: Society, Behavior & the Environment (3 credits)
  • PHS 605: Advanced Statistics for Data Analysis (3 credits)
  • PBH 506: Fundamentals of Epidemiology (3 credits)
  • PBH 509: Foundations of Policy & Advocacy (3 credits)
  • PBH 510: Health Research Methods (3 credits)
  • PBH 520: Program Planning, Implementation & Evaluation (3 credits)
  • PBH 651: Clerkship-Applied Practice Experience (C-APE) 
  • PBH 613 and 614: Capstone-Integrative Learning Experience (C-ILE) (3 credits)

Additional Requirements (18 credits):

  • PBH 602: Advanced Social & Behavioral Theories & Interventions (3 credits)
  • PBH 512: Qualitative Research Methods (3 credits)
  • PBH 515: Cultural Humility and Competence (3 credits)
  • PHS 615: Advanced Statistics for Population Health Science: Multilevel Modeling (3 credits)
  • PHS 680: Advanced Analytic Topics for Health Behavior Science (3 credits)
  • PHS 710: Advanced Health Behavior Methods and Measurement (3 credits)

PhD Population Health Fundamentals and Methods Core (16 credits):

  • PBH 606: Advanced Epidemiology (3 credits)
  • PHS 650: Evaluative and Outcomes Research and Design (3 credits)
  • POP 500: Essentials of Population Health (3 credits)
  • AHE 501: Economics of Health Insurance (3 credits)
  • PHS 602: Bioethics (1 credit)
  • PHS 620: Teaching and Learning Seminar (3 credits)

Mentored and Integrative Research (7 Credits):

  • PHS 660: Mentored Research Experience (1 credit, taken 3 times)
  • PHS 700: Integrative Research Experience (1 credit, taken 4 times)

Comprehensive Examination and Dissertation (12 credits):

  • PHS 800: Comprehensive Examination Prep (1 credit)
  • PHS 801: Comprehensive Examination (1 credit)
  • PHS 805: Dissertation Proposal Seminar (3 credits)
  • PHS 807: Dissertation Proposal Defense (1 credit)
  • PHS 810: Dissertation Progress (3 credits)
  • PHS 811: Final Dissertation Defense (3 credits)